We Have Your Back
A New York Times piece featured UT Austin’s progress in increasing graduation rates through a series of innovative programs and the use of predictive analytics that build a “we have your back” community of support for students who may otherwise struggle to succeed. The University is forecasting it will hit its goal of graduating 70 percent of students within four years “helping to make room for more than 1,000 additional freshmen. Even more impressive, the gap between the campus-wide four-year graduation rate and the rate for low-income, black, Latino and first-generation students has been cut in half.”
The Texas A&M System broke ground this week on its RELLIS campus “marking the occasion with bulldozers in lieu of the typical ceremonial shoveling.” You can watch the video here.
State Sen. Chuy Hinojosa was honored as one of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s 2018 Distinguished Alumni. A McAllen Monitor editorial noted, “Hinojosa has long been a champion for improving education, on all levels, within Texas, and in particular in the Rio Grande Valley.”
The joint committee on higher education funding, which recently met in Austin to “examine how higher education institutions are funded and how they use special item project funds,” will submit recommendations by April 15. The committee may have more hearings, according to co-chair Sen. Kelly Hancock. The Houston Chronicle offers an “explainer” about what’s going on with higher education funding.
Speaking of funding, Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert Duncan saidthe 2019 Texas Legislative Session should be more “generous” with higher education funding. Duncan, a former state lawmaker himself, was in El Paso for a meeting of the System’s Board of Regents. "The economy looks a lot better right now; I foresee higher education being highly supported in the next session. There's always issues and things that have to be worked through. But I think it's our opportunity to show legislators the benefits that we provide for the citizens of our state," Duncan said. El Paso is home to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, which experienced a reduction of roughly $1.2 million for 2017-2018.
UT System Chancellor Bill McRaven, in an online letter to students offered his support for those currently under DACA status who may be facing uncertain futures as a deadline for a permanent solution to their legal status draws near. “If you are a DACA recipient … your time on one of our 14 campuses should be marked by your hard work, determination and enlightenment — not by anxiety about your future. I, along with UT institution presidents, strongly believe in the benefits of DACA and encourage Congress to act quickly to continue the program and create a pathway for you to fulfill what I trust is your dream, to become a citizen of our great nation.”
Watch the “Live Falcon Cam” mounted on top of The University of Texas Tower, which is home to one of the fastest animals on the planet, a Peregrine Falcon. Proceeds from watching the falcon, dubbed “Tower Girl,” support the Biodiversity Center scientists and students who study and work to raise awareness about a wide diversity of animals, plants, ecosystems and their interactions.
Week of March 4, 2018
Last week The University of Texas System Board of Regents named James Milliken as the sole finalist for the role of UT System chancellor. Milliken is the former chancellor of the City University of New York. In a statement Milliken said he would “welcome the opportunity to play a lead role in advancing this system of outstanding universities in the 21st Century.” According to the Texas Tribune, “Larry Faulkner, who has led the system on an interim basis since the former chancellor, Admiral Bill McRaven, stepped down in May, is expected to keep his position until Milliken's appointment is finalized and he can begin the job.” Additional coverage of the announcement can be found in the Austin Business Journal, Houston Chronicle, Inside Higher Ed, The Eagle and the Daily Texan, among other publications.Continue reading
Texas Universities in Service to Our Country
The University of Texas System is the proud new home base for U.S. Army Futures Command. The Command is a new entity and is part of a reorganization of the Army. It will be responsible for “coordinating modernization efforts and integrating innovation across the Army.” In making the announcement, the Pentagon indicated Austin was selected “because of its already-vibrant ecosystem of innovation, civic engagement and higher education, which includes UT Austin, one of the top-ranked research institutions in the nation,” according to the UT System.Continue reading